80s Simplicity Tee Dress

8:02 PM

After my last few sewing disappointments I put off going back to the sewing table. I did some embroidery, some tidying and organizing of the sewing space, and so on... but I was finally inspired to sew something up again after a day at the thrift shop.


I picked up a handful of late 80s patterns (uncut) in one of my regular rounds of my local thrift shops:



The same night, I decided to cut out a simple tunic circa 1988, Simplicity 8684, View 3 (the blue one on the cover). I scrounged around in my stash and found a very soft, thin mauve knit I was planning to make something from someday. The day had arrived.



I laid out the pieces to see how they'd fit, and realized I'd have to shorten the pattern by 3 or 4 inches to have it the tunic length as on the pattern illustration. But then again, I'd only have to lengthen it by 4 or 5 inches to get a knee length dress... I finally decided to cut the dress length and if it didn't look good or feel comfortable, I could chop it off back to tunic length.


I carefully pinned the markings for the extra length - I extended the A-line of the pattern out further to the hem, so it's quite a full skirt. Despite our more modern methods of sewing knits, I decided to try out the suggested neck facing finish on this, as I wasn't really concerned about the fabric or really all that hopeful that my sewing slump was actually over.


I actually really like the way it turned out. It didn't pucker up or get all bunched. I just pinned and sewed slowly, and it's a smooth finish. They suggested sewing a second line (I guess to copy the RTW look) -- I could've used my double needle but I didn't -- and I didn't want to risk getting it all bunchy in between another stitching line so left it at one. Same when I did the sleeve hem, which was just turn under and stitch. When it came to my huge circle hem at the bottom of that skirt, I just left it unhemmed. I couldn't imagine that a stitched hem would turn out nicely on so much fabric. This knit didn't curl or fray so it's not noticeable anyhow.

inside shoulder with stay tape & neckline facing
smooth finishes


 And there sure is a lot of fabric with that A-line from the bust all the way down!


Anyhow, with a belt and some jewellery (and very important with this light knit, the right undergarments so the outlines don't show) it's a great dress for casual Fridays. It's really just an oversize tee, which gathers nicely and swirls around my knees in a soft and pleasing way. I think this simple 80s pattern has got me back to the machine and feeling like I can tackle my queued projects once again.




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12 comments

  1. It's very pretty, and will be a great layering piece as your weather cools down as well as a nice dress in it's own right. I hope you start getting your motivation to sew back.

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    1. Thanks Sarah Liz - you're right, it will also work with a cardie & tights - my fave for fall :)

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  2. Without the belt, it's quite a lot of dress! But with the belt, so, so cute.

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    1. When I twirl in this dress as above, I feel like my feet are just the clapper in a bell ;)

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  3. This is so cute! Love the vintage pattern you used. It is really a nice dress with the belt-love it!

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    1. I think I might be using a few other pieces in this pattern. It's very simple & nostalgic too!

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  4. You are very right that the A-line has lots of fabric but you styled it perfectly! Lovely color on you.

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    1. Thanks! I love this colour; I don't wear solids too often but I couldn't resist this.

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  5. That color looks great on you!! Very cute dress, and the accessories really make the outfit. I agree with Sarah Liz, it's a piece with a lot of versatility through different seasons.

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    1. Yes, I think I'll be able to wear it in a lot of different ways over the seasons - it's just so soft and comfy!

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